Healthy Living | Ageing

Can Exercising Reverse Signs of Ageing

You’ve probably heard the age-old saying.

“An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”

But what if we told you there’s more to the story than just apples?

Your body is a well-oiled machine, and what you do with it matters.

We’ve all heard about exercise’s weight control and heart-strengthening superpowers.

And those magical endorphins that make us feel like we’re walking on sunshine.

Pure bliss! But here’s the kicker.

Can exercising go toe-to-toe with anti-ageing treatments and supplements?

Join us as we dive into the latest research.

That suggests that exercising might be the legendary fountain of youth.

Does Exercising Reverse Ageing

Exercise is like a love-hate relationship in a world that has become increasingly sedentary. It’s time to rediscover the wonders of physical activity and how it can unlock the secrets to ageless vitality.

Your body is revitalised with every breath you take as oxygen courses through your system; it invigorates muscles, heart, and lungs.

You’re not just working up a sweat but fueling your body with boundless energy.

The latest research (1) challenges conventional wisdom, revealing that what we once thought of as “normal ageing,” marked by dwindling fitness and muscle mass, may be a consequence of our sedentary lifestyles.

Age appears to be less of a villain than our reluctance to move.

This study (2) found that the link between aerobic activity and your VO2 max is a crucial gauge of your heart and lung performance.

This measurement typically starts to decline after age 30, contributing to accelerated ageing at a rate of about 1% per year.

But here’s the game-changer: regular exercising may just be able to defy this inevitability.

As this eye-opening “bed rest and training study (3) found, in 1966, five young, healthy men spent three weeks in bed.

The results were alarming – a faster resting heart rate, higher blood pressure, increased body fat, and weakened muscles; it was as if they’d aged overnight.

Yet, when exercise became part of their regimen, not only did they reverse the detrimental effects of this bed rest, but some measurements even surpassed their pre-bed rest levels.

Fast-forward 30 years, and these same men, now in their 50s, have remained remarkably healthy and medication-free.

Despite some weight gain and changes in cardiac function, their journey back to vitality began when they embraced a six-month endurance training program.

The outcome? Their blood pressure, resting heart rates, and heart function were on par with their 20-year-old selves.

An Interesting Study

Dr. Bortz, a clinical professor of medicine at Stanford University, embarked on a mission to prove the profound impact of exercise on ageing.

His research (4) found that moderate activity over six months could reverse 100% of the 30-year age-related decline in aerobic power.

If individuals achieved a higher level of conditioning, they could even reclaim 30 years of peak performance.

These rejuvenating effects weren’t only confined to the body; they extended to the mind, countering cognitive decline associated with ageing, so running, it turns out, is the secret weapon in the fight against premature ageing.

Our ancestors were constantly on the move for survival; they ran to hunt and to escape becoming someone else’s meal. Running allowed them to reach old age, which remains an integral part of our evolutionary history.

As our bodies age, our arteries lose their elasticity, particularly the aorta and carotid arteries, setting the stage for serious cardiac issues. This is why cardiologists recommend a regular daily intake of olive oil.

To conclude. The naked truth

So exercise isn’t just a means to look good in your favourite jeans; it’s the elusive elixir of youth, the antidote to ageing’s relentless march.

Regular physical activity lubricates your body, preventing muscle, ligament, and joint issues. It’s the key to staying agile, comfortable, and youthful.

It restores artery elasticity, bolsters your immune system, maintains VO2 max, preserves muscle mass and joint flexibility, enhances mood and sleep, improves reflexes, and decreases high blood pressure.

And let’s not forget the gift exercise bestows upon your immune system. Studies have shown that regular cyclists and runners aged 65 and above have robust immune systems resembling those of healthy individuals aged 20 to 45.

So, could exercise be the next best anti-ageing supplement?

The research indeed suggests that it might be, and whilst we can’t cheat old age, we can certainly slow down its effects by embracing a life of movement.

So, next time you reach for those anti-ageing pills, consider lacing up your running shoes instead. Your body – and your future self – will thank you for it.


1. Physical activity in older age: Perspectives for healthy ageing and frailty

2. The relationship between aerobic fitness and recovery from high-intensity intermittent exercise.

3. A 30-Year Follow-Up of the Dallas Bed Rest and Training Study

4. Dr Bortz, an expert on ageing

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